“Bulk Barn has Canada’s largest zero-waste shopping program called the Reusable Container Program. This program encourages customers to shop with their own reusable containers and cloth bags to save natural resources, reduce plastic pollution and cut down on CO2 emissions.”

Photo by Andrea Marie Tan
Photo by Andrea Marie Tan

Second year was my first time grocery shopping for myself on a regular basis. Although there are far more difficult responsibilities to tackle in university, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the task. There were, and still are, two main stressors for me when it comes to grocery stores: the first is the rising prices of groceries and the second is the amount of plastic used in food packaging.

Recently, I stopped by the Bulk Barn to check out their groceries based on a friend’s recommendation and I was instantly won over. Prior to my visit, I generally thought of the Bulk Barn as somewhere to only buy candy, but in reality, they carry over 4,000 products including coffee and tea, spreads, beans and soup mixes, cleaning supplies and baking ingredients.

Bulk Barn has Canada’s largest zero-waste shopping program called the Reusable Container Program. This program encourages customers to shop with their own reusable containers and cloth bags to save natural resources, reduce plastic pollution and cut down on CO2 emissions.

The process is simple: bring in your clean containers, have them weighed at the front before you start shopping, then scoop as much or as little as you want into your containers. When you are ready to checkout, the cashier will subtract the weight of your container from the overall weight.

Photo by Andrea Marie Tan
Photo by Andrea Marie Tan

Bulk Barn offered 25% off of all products purchased with reusable containers from September 12 to September 25 so that customers could save money while saving the environment. They also offer 10% off to students and seniors every Wednesday.

The Bulk Barn in Kelowna is located off of the 97 Bus Route and is open from 9a.m. to 9p.m. daily. It is much less busy than other supermarkets in Kelowna which makes shopping for groceries less of a chore and more of a laid back experience.

Currently, the Bulk Barn doesn’t sell fresh produce like fruits or veggies, but they still sell enough dry food to make the trip worthwhile. Plus, Kelowna already has an abundance of local fruit, vegetable and meat vendors. I believe that it is a valid place to purchase the majority of groceries for anyone who is looking to protect the climate and save money.

Businesses like the Bulk Barn are making it easier than ever to challenge daily norms. The Bulk Barn has helped me save money and plastic, proving that low-cost living and eco-conscious living do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Post your Bulk Barn haul on Instagram and tag us @ubcophoenix to be reposted on our story and spread the zero-waste love.